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Book: Describing Language: Form and Function

Chapter: Chapter 7: Lending and Borrowing: From Grammar to Lexis [1985]

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24907


A lexical item does not have a mysterious, sui generis existence, and the task of grammar vis à vis lexis is not simply to determine the syntactic classification of items. Rather the meaning of a lexical item is constructed by the grammar. The word pairs “lend” and “borrow”, and “sell” and “buy”, illustrate Hasan’s point that they mean what they mean because of the way they are used – because of the constructions in which they appear.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ruqaiya Hasan ( - book-auth-41) 'Macquarie University (Emeritus)'